#RunChatHunt – I Need A Gnome!

Besides the great prizes*, why should you do a running scavenger hunt? The RunChat scavenger hunt, sponsored by Energy Bits, is a prompt to look a little differently (and more thoroughly) at the world around us as we run. That was certainly the case for me with the original hunt as well as the 2013 Holiday Hunt.

Here’s the list for this hunt (ends July 5, 2014). You earn one entry an image from each of the ten categories (must be tweeted with the hashtag #runchathunt):

Trail path (or evidence of running on a trail). Here’s mine:

The Plantation at St. George Island

The Plantation at St. George Island

Funny road/store/church sign. Mine isn’t that funny, I know, but it puts my mind on “beach mode” which makes me happy so we’ll go with it!

Parrotdise? Yeah, I'll run for that!

Parrotdise? Yeah, I’ll run for that!

Dog (yours or someone else running with one). I encountered this guy when the hunt had first started:

Canine Company on an early run...

Canine Company on an early run…

Someone fishing. This is actually not the one I originally submitted to RunChat but I love this pic of my brother-in-law fishing so here it is!

2014-06-20 18.42.32

St. George Island, June 2014

Sunrise or sunset. Here’s mine!

Sunrises make these morning runs worth the effort.

Sunrises make these morning runs worth the effort.

Farm equipment. I’m sure a lot of people found farm equipment, but I wonder if anyone else got a farm equipment mailbox. Thank you, North Florida!

runchathunt farm equipment

Road kill.

I think I may be on the RunChat “exclude” list after lobbying so hard for this one. But honestly, aren’t we runners candid with each other about every part of running, from bloody nipples to other issues that would normally be private? Thanks RunChat (and voters!) for including this. I’m done.

(In case you’re squeamish, I am not showing the image directly. If you have a tough constitution, here’s the link to the image.)

A great local dive bar. Another souvenir of our week at St. George Island:

A perfect place to hydrate after a run!

A perfect place to hydrate after a run!

Pay phone. Definitely the next-to-hardest thing to find! I finally located one:




Ah, the elusive gnome. I have a friend who owns a gnome so I may have to schedule a run on her side of town but I keep hoping to find one by chance. If you’re in Tallahassee and have any suggestions, send ’em my way!

I probably won’t be lucky enough to find one this entertaining but check it out:

Source: Artistic-garden.com

Source: Artistic-garden.com

You can also get an entry by submitting a Vine or Instagram video incorporating two of the #RunChatHunt items. I shot one yesterday but I’m not happy with it so tick tock I have to get on it!

Lastly, you can get an entry for a blog post (like this!).

The contest lasts through 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 5, 2014. That’s plenty of time to hunt down a pay phone, take in a sunrise, or track down some farm equipment. Might as well … you’ll be running anyhow, right?

runchat logo

*Prizes include an Energy Bits prize pack, Altra shoes, Hylands Leg Cramps Products, a HeadSweats gift card, a 4-pack of KT Tape, a pair of socks or sleeves from Pro Compression, and a Road ID gift card.


My Running “Year In Review”

I am combining two topics into one post tonight; both are about running.

First, I want to make sure you know that there is still plenty of time left in the RunChat “Holiday to Holiday” scavenger hunt (it ends 12/26). I will be sharing collages of my “finds” at the end of this post!

Secondly, I loved the way Amanda / Miss Zippy’s Six Questions helped me assess my running year so I decided to join with my answers to the six inquiries:

1. What was your best race experience? Ever since I started training with PRS Fit back in April 2012, I don’t race as much as I did prior to entering into a coaching relationship. In short, the goal is “more training/less racing.” That makes the races I have done all the more special. I would have to give the nod for “best race experience” to the “Gate to Gate” at Eglin Air Force Base on Memorial Day. There are a combination of reasons: the great camaraderie with my fellow Gulf Winds Track Club team members, the gravity of running past the memorial to the fallen and dropping a flower, the fact that I got my act together enough to drive over the night before and enjoy a decent meal and a good night’s sleep …… it was a good day, for running and for life.

2. What was your best run? As much as I love to hate them, I would have to put my interval workouts into the “best run” category. They are so hard, but they are the times that I get closest to the speed I need to be able to maintain to meet my goal of a sub 30:00 5K.

3. What was your best new piece of gear? It’s not “gear” exactly but I ended up getting a skirt for a costume I needed for a recent run. I had always thought I would hate skirts because I feel big enough in shorts but I actually liked it! Go figure.

4. What was the best piece of running advice you received? All of the legitimate advice I have received about form would go into this category. Fast light feet, lean slightly forward from the ankles, pay attention to how your arms are moving. I am sure “nutrition” would take second place to that; I know I have a lot of work to do to improve my nutrition and fuel my body better in order to run more effectively.

5. Who was your most inspirational runner? Dustin Rhodes, who passed away 7/31/13, is my most inspirational runner. Hardly a run goes by that I don’t think about him and the mental picture of how he carried himself while running — upright, powerful, yet relaxed.

6. If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Fortunate, evasive, enthralling, centering

Okay, back to the Runchat hunt. It’s fun, and there are prizes! More details here:   http://therunchat.com/2013/11/enter-the-holiday-to-holiday-runchathunt/


I am happy to report that I am *done* with my RunChatHunt! Found the snowman, the cows in the field, the “runner I didn’t know.” Here’s the proof:

edited collage one

edited collage two

And for the “grand finale” (yes there is a Santa under all that unruly beardage!!):


Free for 57 Minutes and 54 Seconds

In my RunChat post this month, I fretted about my most recent recovery week: how I didn’t really want to take a hiatus from hard training days to “recover,” how I wasn’t sure I really ran as “free” as the “free” runs my coach assigned me.

In the post, I asked how “free” I really ran, since I still took my smartphone (to run the Charity Miles app), utilized the Map My Run app, had a watch on, and was listening to music via an iPod. And my glasses to be able to see all those electronics at work.

My recovery week came and went; it’s back to the hard stuff training-wise now, but last night’s 4 mile Gulf Winds Track Club Pot Luck prediction run gifted me with the freedom I never really found during recovery week. It was a race and not a “run to remember how much you love it” (which is what we’re supposed to do on our recovery week free runs) but by its nature it stripped me of all the things that can dilute a free run. It was free of:

  • Heart Rate Monitor (the strap and the watch)
  • Watch (yes, I wear a second, “plain” watch)
  • Smartphone
  • Armband for smartphone
  • iPod
  • Anything technical that could track mileage, calculate time, give to charity, take a picture
  • My glasses

It was hot. It was hilly. It was beautiful. It had bugs. It was mystifying (no mile markers). It was perfect.

This runner who usually prefers running alone had to be with 237 people to find the freedom that eluded me a few weeks ago. As I crossed the finish line, I looked back to see what my time had been (the clock is obscured because of the prediction nature of the race). What did I see?

I saw that I had just experienced 57 minutes and 54 seconds of freedom.

Photo credit: Fred Deckert

Photo credit: Fred Deckert


Wordless Wednesday (Truly Wordless This Time Edition)

Two causes merged today, one that is an annual event and one that, sadly, did not exist 48 hours ago.

Today was the annual “One Day Without Shoes” observance by TOMS to “bring global awareness to children’s health and education by going without shoes.” I did it last year, I did it today, I’ll do it next year and for years into the future.

What I added to my shoeless ensemble today was a “race shirt.” Runners everywhere joined in a movement to wear race shirts or, if office dress codes did not allow t-shirts, blue and yellow (the colors of the Boston Marathon) to honor the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

photo (57)

I love love love my Charity Miles “marathon” shirt but would gladly have left it in the closet today for lack of a reason to wear it………..

crafty spices

On The Hunt With #RunChat

rc spelled out

Those fun, creative minds at #RunChat dreamed up a scavenger hunt for the running community (and they added prizes as a bonus). (The above graphic was one of the items: “find the letters to spell out ‘#Runchat.'”) My other “finds” are below!

RC Sticker Framed

RC Bridge Framed

rc hill framed

rc santa framed

rc historical framed

rc welcome framed

rc water framed

rc marker framed

rc fave framed

I also shared a vine about my favorite place to run, on a morning when the moon was setting to the west as the sun was rising in the east. It was lovely.

Thank you, #RunChat, for a fun scavenger hunt. I’m still sad that roadkill didn’t make the list, but there’s always next time!

runchat logo


Wordless Wednesday (#RunChat Valentine’s Challenge Edition)

The fabulous team at #RunChat is doing a Valentine’s Challenge.

Participants share 5-10 things they love about running.

Here are mine:

framed_shadow_thing (1)

(Entries are being accepted through 10 p.m. EST on 2/14/13! Click here for details. There are prizes!)

crafty spices

#RunChat Blogger Awards (And A Giveaway!)

I don’t know about you, but I could spend hours upon hours reading blogs about running. I think it’s great that #RunChat is inviting us to share our favorite running bloggers. AND the nominators are entered for an opportunity to win an entry into the 2013 or 2014 Key West Half Marathon. Just for saying who we like to read!!

There are five categories, and here are my nominations:

Best Overall Running Blog:  Ann’s Running Commentary

Best New (2012) Running Blog:  GingerMantra (It’s not JUST about running but Tammy’s evolution as a runner is knocking my socks off and you can see it through her blog).

Funniest Running Blog:  Run Luau Run (Caveat: Run Luau Run isn’t always funny. It’s motivational sometimes, thought-provoking sometimes, and has more references to blue hair and Katy Perry than you might expect but ….. the funny moments always make me smile.)

Most Inspirational Running Blog:  Shut Up And Run

Best Participant in #RunChat:  Alex Bridgeforth – it seems like he’s ALWAYS there!

Nominations will be accepted through 12/14/12, and voting will follow on or before December 21.

Ready to nominate your faves? Here’s the link!